Posted in Flotsam

Overtime at the Lumber Mill

I was rooting around for something and found these old paystubs, and an electric bill, from 1943.

Looks like they took out about 14% for taxes; I thought taxes were lower back then… Maybe making a whole $1.07 an hour bumped you into a higher bracket? Doesn’t sound like a lot, but his electric bill from a few years previous was only a buck eighty. That’s for 52 killowatt hours. Google says the average household today uses well over 1000 KWH a month. Where is it all going?

Also note the insurance deduction. It’s just for if you are hospitalized. I guess you paid the doc for office visits (Or house calls!) out of pocket, or gave him some chickens? or a bushel of corn?

I was just looking at my son’s insuance plan, it doesn’t kick in until you spend $3000 a year. So I guess that’s like hospitalization insurance too.

Posted in Flotsam

Found buried treasure in my filing cabinet!

I found a batch of these novelty “Comic Cards” from probably the 1950’s? when I was rooting around in one of my filing cabinets.

In this one, two dogs have to pee, but they are afraid to use the only tree-like object in the vicinity, a rather imposing totem pole.

My dog doesn’t get the joke- He’s a squatter, not a leg-lifter.

Scroll down for more, but please note, they could be considered NSFW depending on how uptight your boss is.

The lady with the irritated nipples is looking at the sailor like, “See what shit I put up with?”

I think we have some DNA too.

I don’t get this one. Didn’t she have about nine months to ascertain the identity of the father? Mom seems to be in shock. Maybe she never learned about the birds and the bees, and the flowers and the trees, and a thing called love.

PFC Looney was given a full military burial, and his high school football coach gave an inspiring speech at halftime, urging the team to “Win one for the Zipper!”

I would have called this bull a cowpoke, not a cowpuncher. But I’m not from around here.

Mr. Hotchkiss’ HMO doesn’t even cover three-headed babies.



“Where’s Alice?”

“Oh, she’s gone with the Schwinn again! She has this sudden obsession with bicycling.”



Posted in Back in My Day

Mt. St. Helens ash? Or just fireplace sweepings?

Today is the 39th anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens, May 18th 1980. I was just 20 then, and barely noticed the ash fall; I lived and worked in the gritty industrial area around Seattle’s Harbor Island. My car was always covered with gritty crap anyway. Then again, my girlfriend at the time was living in Spokane, and they had to put pantyhose over their carburetors, which was a popular car part at the time.

A whole industry sprang up overnight, many souvenirs purported to contain the oddly valuable ash. And then there were the books and VHS tapes (ask your mom).

There was the lodge caretaker who refused to be evacuated, because before his wife passed away they had vowed to never leave Spirit Lake.

Mr. Truman lived at the lodge with his 16 cats right up to the end. (Although I have it on good authority that cat 14 said “Screw this! I’m out of here!” and left the week before. Animals can sense these things.)

There was a National Geographic photographer and others who perished up there too. Mother nature always wins.

Posted in Back in My Day

Ethyl has gas.

Used to be some gasoline had a proprietary antiknock compound in it called “Ethyl”. If I had been old enough to be a gas station attendant back then, and if someone asked for the gas with Ethyl in it, I would have been obligated to mutter “If Ethyl don’t mind!” and then spill gas on the side of their car. I saw the movie “Duel” again recently, and it reminded me.

I saw that movie when I was 13 and ever since then, my family has had to deal with me exclaiming “You can’t beat me on the grade!!” whenever driving uphill.

Posted in Back in My Day, Mildly Interesting

The Future is now, sort of.

The February, 1956 edition of Town Journal magazine predicted cars would be controlled by devices embedded in the pavement. They didn’t see the advances in optics and electronics enabling self-driving cars to use any pavement.

Apparently game playing technology was not expected to improve- This family is playing dominos, I think. I don’t think they are even wearing seat belts. Who needs them when the car is driving?

The article was mostly about how electricity would make your life better. Television “screens” will hang on the walls. An electric heat pump will use outside air to cool your house in summer, heat it in winter. Also, Your food will cook in seconds instead of hours.

Aside from the fact that we don’t all drive Batmobiles, these predictions from “America’s Electric Light and Power Companies” are pretty accurate. I wonder what today’s power companies foresee for the year 2082.